SANTA CLARA, Calif.—A security guard who worked at Futurewei Technology was relocated from his post on Sept. 3 after having discussions with the employees of the company about the current Hong Kong protests.
Mark Trout is a security guard who works for Allied Universal Security, a large independent company that offers security services for businesses and organizations. Trout worked as part of the security team at Futurewei Technology in the city of Santa Clara.
Trout was notified on Sept. 3 that he would be relocated away from that facility and only work at security posts for other organizations, meaning he would work fewer hours.
He told The Epoch Times that he was relocated because of his “talking to the people about Hong Kong and how the communists have infiltrated into [Hong Kong’s] police department.”
Trout said that he talked to his coworkers as well as Futurewei employees about the police brutality in the Hong Kong protests, saying, “They are shooting tear gas, and they don’t care if there are women out there at all.”
In those discussions, Trout mentioned that the communist regime in China has murdered 125 million of its own people. Trout said that he was quite upset about the things that the regime has done, so he made conversation with the people around him.
Trout said he was later told by his superior that his coworkers didn’t mind his opinions about the Chinese communist regime, but that he “offended some people at Huawei,” so he was removed from his post at the facility.
“I don’t know why it was offensive unless they were communists. I think it’s offensive to murder 125 million people. I think it’s offensive to shoot tear gas and plastic bullets to people who are peacefully protesting the communists’ infiltration of their free country,” Trout said.
Trout stated that his boss told him, “It’s not appropriate to mention the communists are attacking Hong Kong.”
“Why not? It is not appropriate for communists [to be] attacking Hong Kong,” Trout said.
He remembered that he was told by his security firm, “You have no opinions on anything, and don’t talk about any personal opinions.”
“[This] means you can never get to know anybody on your post and any other security guards,” Trout said.
Before he was removed, he worked at the facility two to three days a week. He had only worked at the facility for about two months before he was informed that he no longer had his post there.
Trout is still employed by Allied Universal to work on weekends, and he told The Epoch Times that the American security company is currently trying to find more hours for him to work at locations other than Huawei’s.
“But still, the point is, why shouldn’t I have the right to talk about Hong Kong with Chinese?” Trout asked.
He believes that some American employees hired by Huawei are freedom-loving people.
The Epoch Times contacted Trout’s supervisor, Aaron Fleischman. Fleischman confirmed that Trout was in his team for a short period of time, but he declined to make further comments.
The Epoch Times also contacted Futurewei, but the Futurewei manager who received the phone call only said he was not the right person to speak about the issue. After the conversation, The Epoch Times left a phone message for Futurewei’s receptionist and has received no response as of this writing.
According to a report from Reuters in July, Futurewei is Huawei’s technology research division. The division has offices in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Chicago, and Dallas. It has cut more than 600 jobs since the China–U.S. trade war started.
Huawei is a Chinese telecommunications manufacturing giant. In May, the U.S. Department of Commerce placed Huawei’s name on a list of organizations that pose security risks to the United States.
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a charge alleging that the firm stole trade secrets and committed other crimes.
After Huawei was put on the trade blacklist, the company reportedly tried to separate Futurewei from its corporate parent. Futurewei is not currently on the Department of Commerce’s blacklist.
Huawei has a global operation, including offices in Hong Kong.
Last December, Huawei’s chief financial officer, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver, Canada. Meng was later charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged use of Skycom, Huawei’s unofficial subsidiary in Hong Kong, to skirt the U.S. sanctions on Iran.